Library Research Information Specialist Library of Rush University Medical Center Chicago, Illinois
Introduction: Librarians who work on systematic reviews are often tasked with creating a search strategy that locates many types of clinical trials. This article reports the results of a survey that examined how often experienced medical librarians are asked to find clinical trials, their comfort level in doing so, and the methods and tools they employ.
Methods: A 21-question survey was sent to experienced medical librarians via several email listservs. Respondents were limited to those librarians who make the decisions on search terms for systematic reviews. Responses were collected for one month (April 2020). The survey was reviewed and exempted by an Institutional Review Board.
Results: 136 responses were collected. Responses indicate that librarians are often asked to search for various types of clinical trials and that there is not a consistent method for doing so. While these experienced librarians consider themselves to be proficient in locating trials, there is a demonstrated need for more resources about the types of clinical trials themselves.
Conclusion: Resources about the types of clinical trials need to be developed to better support librarians who work on literature searches for systematic reviews.